What is a Hybrid, Heirloom and GMO


Ever grow a plant from last years crop and it didn’t quit grow like you expected.  When saving seeds it is important to understand what is a hybrid, heirloom, and GMO.  In this post, we discuss the difference.

Seeds Are Different

There are many terms used in gardening that in my opinion turn trendy. I just want to grow what is healthy and makes my family happy so when I connect with someone who will share terminology that can be confusing I’m excited to learn more. A hot topic on social media as we enter the growing season is hybrid, heirloom, and GMO.  When my co-host Adam Cortell and I had Curtis Jones (CEO of Botanical Interest Seed Company) on as guest host for Garden Chatter had to ask him if he could share his take on those seeds. He gave a great definition of the types of seeds that I could totally understand.

What is a GMO, Hybrid and Heirloom Seed

Below are the definitions of each type of seed.

GMO Frist, I want to note that home gardeners at this time will not find GMO seeds at local garden centers.  GMO seeds are usually found at farm supply stores. I encourage my readers to check out this post about The Science of GMO at https://ag.purdue.edu/gmos/Pages/The-Science-of-GMOs.aspx

Hybrid seed are from a deliberate cross between two inbred lines. They are becoming increasingly popular among vegetables because they usually are more vigorous and uniform than open-pollinated varieties.  The Colorado State University has a great article about this at http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/yard-garden/saving-seed-7-602/

The plants from an Heirloom Seed are open-pollinated – meaning that seed from these varieties can be saved each year by home gardeners and will grow ‘true to type’ from seed each time.  Read more at Nebraska State Extension Site  https://lancaster.unl.edu/hort/articles/2011/Heirloom.shtml

Seeds of Interest Curtis Jones  Interview

Below is the link to the interview with Curtis of Botanical Interest Seed Company.

Let’s Connect

I would love to hear from you so please connect on my contact page located on this website.  Find me on social by following the links below.  I can’t wait to hear about the seeds you are growing in your home garden.

Happy Gardening,


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